Of course, there will be times when a task must be completed in a certain fashion (homework, etc.).However, many times we force kids to do something the “right way”, when it could have been done in several ways.When I think about all of the phrases, anecdotes, and sayings about the power of the spoken word I am reminded of how I changed my way of communicating with children upon learning Play Therapy principles.
The former acknowledges that the child already figured out the problem, but is still comforting.
When redirecting behavior, it is difficult to know how to phrase things in the best manner.
So, you can say “Walk, please” instead of “No running”. Children are programmed to question, analyze and wonder about situations.
I have spent a good deal of time on articles on the difference between Praise vs. This can sometimes present itself in an argumentative manner, but this is actually a normal part of development.
Train yourself to explain the reason behind your statement.
“That is not safe” or “Your skin is not for coloring on” is specific and helps them learn why things are off limits, rather than just that they are.It is wasted words to try to express a rule when a child is upset, as they focus on one thing at a time.Instead, train yourself to say, “You realized that you jumped off the chair and got hurt when you landed on the ground”, rather than, “See, that is what happens when you jump off the chair”.Train yourself to acknowledge their behavior without a judgment, such as “You chose to sit the other way on the chair” or “You colored the grass purple instead”.This gives them the freedom to be creative and discover things without expectations.If a child is coloring the grass purple, it is easy to tell them it must be green.